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: Water-Moon Avalokitesvara (Suwol Gwaneum bosal) detail : Water-Moon Avalokitesvara (Suwol Gwaneum bosal)

Water-Moon Avalokitesvara (Suwol Gwaneum bosal)

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)
Historical period(s)
Goryeo period, mid-14th century
Ink, color and gold on silk
H x W (image): 98.3 x 47.7 cm (38 11/16 x 18 3/4 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
This painting, executed in ink, colors, and gold on silk, follows the same Chinese prototype as numerous other surviving examples executed in Korea during the late Goryeo period. The willow branch is held in a small vase to the side of the Bodhisattva. The small figure in a devotional pose may represent an allusion to passage in the Avatamsaka sutra. The details of this painting, from the elegant pose of the deity to the delicate use of color to render elements of the costume are characteristic of Korean Buddhist painting at the peak of its development. Touches of gold highlight the landscapes in a typically decorative manner.

To 1902
Yamanaka & Company, to April 15, 1902 [1]

From 1902 to 1903
Charles Gillot (1853-1903), Paris, purchased from Yamanaka & Company on April 15, 1902 [2]

From 1904 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased through Siegfried Bing (1838-1905), from the sale of the Charles Gillot Collection, Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Collection Ch. Gillot: objets d'art et peintures d'extreme-orient, February 8-13, 1904, lot 2004 (ill.) [3]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [4]


[1] A label accompanying the painting indicates that Charles Gillot purchased the painting from the Japanese dealer, Yamanaka & Company, on April 15, 1902. See also, Curatorial Remark 8 in the object record, which states, "A paper accompanying the painting seems to indicate that Gillot had purchased the painting from the Japanese dealer, Yamanaka, in 1902."

[2] See note 1.

[3] See undated folder sheet note. See L. 31, Original Panel List, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. After Gillot’s death in 1903, a sale of his Asian art collection took place in February 1904 at the Durand-Ruel gallery in Paris. This object was purchased by Siegfried Bing for Charles Lang Freer at that sale (see Curatorial Remark 1 and Curatorial Remark 8, A. Yonemura, September 1983, in the object record).

[4] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Former owner
Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Gillot (French, 1853 - 1903)
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
Siegfried Bing (1838 - 1905)
On View Location
Currently not on view
Avalokitesvara, bodhisattva, Buddhism, Goryeo period (918 - 1392), halo, Korea, willow
Collection(s) Area
Korean Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

The Freer|Sackler is closed for renovation and reinstallation. The popular exhibition Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan is still on view in the International Gallery. (Enter through the Ripley Center.) Join us for our reopening celebration on October 14–15, 2017.